Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Strangers to Friends

There are places, where broken dreams and broken hearts come together to mend.
Malcontents and wishful thinkers find cliffs to cast their hopes from, ponds to skip their thoughts, one, two-threefourfive across.
The sweet Georgia spring night was conjuring in dust whirls along late night streets, the street lamps yawned. It was Monday.
I felt the tug, and the dust whirl led the way.
The irony of Crowded House playing "Don't Dream It's over" could not be overlooked in the near empty lounge.
There was she, behind the bar doing the nails that had already been done. There was he, a local for sure with rehearsed banter.
He tanked the boredom with economy fuel
"Slow night"
She didn't look up, or waste words either.
"I've made three dollars"
There was a ridiculous poker game going on and i glanced the players.
The pretty young girl that would be a fashion designer until the funds ran out halfway to her dream.
The hotel manager from India who didn't give a shit about this Georgia hotel
The old man, and the big wampum liar telling his stories ten floors above the flag.
The piles of chips looked impressive, but held as much value as the liar's fables of being shot twice in the head in Iraq. Oh, men have been shot twice in the head in Iraq, but those men don't brag~they struggle to forget.
"I used to eat monkey brains in India," The liar tossed out like a baby throws its pacifier.
The man from India couldn't let this one slide.
"They don't eat monkey brains in India."
You have to love a terrible liar, they never let truth be a burden.
"Yes they do. They did where I was."
The facial ping pong was priceless as the manager fingered his cards.
"And where is it you were?"
The liar's bullet wounds were causing amnesia.
"I can't remember."
"Well," the man from India put forth. "Was it North, East, West, or South?"
The liar was stumbling badly, obviously over matched.
"Um, I can't remember, now."
The dark skinned manager was satisfied, nodded, and looked back to his cards.
I turned to the bartender and we quietly laughed together.
An hour ago, none of us knew the others. Three hours from now, we would all be hugging each other, saying goodnight, as the manager on wobbly legs told us he really had to close down as it was an hour past last call. He hugged everyone too.
In between, we swapped stories. Some true, some not-it didn't matter. We argued over music. We danced. The young failed fashioner wore my coat as we all went outside in a group to smoke. She and I smiled at each other like lovers, because that's what we needed.
The liar's stories grew ferociously and we pretended to believe him, because that's what he needed.
The old man and local boy went home, but three men and two women came in to take their place and we welcomed them like cousins to a reunion. They brought a dog, which quickly became our dog, too.
The bartender made seventy dollars in tips, I gave the pretty girl a half a pack of smokes and my lighter.
The liar said he was going to Arizona to fix global warming. We wished him well.
This is how it was on a Monday night in Georgia. A group of strangers that needed something, and friends willing to give it.